In discussing and strategizing about the business use of Twitter and other social media platforms, it's essential to get to the core of why exactly a business would/should engage. Whether the goal is set as listening and lurking, contributing new content, or actively seeking contacts and participating in discussions, the decision must be done. (And revised too, if need be.)
However, beyond the simple decision of objectives and roles, there's another dimension to social platforms. I was glad to come across Dina Mehta's blog post "Twitter & Maslow's Hierarcy of Needs ... nay ... Hierarcy of #Tweets", linking back to the picture above that Kevin Maguire had posted on The Innovation Diaries.
While some might dismiss the role of Maslow's hierarchy of needs in organizational context, I'd argue that as there's always a real person involved, the factors that motivate that person significantly affect the ambition, activity level and tone of participation - and, ultimately, the success of the effort.
The picture includes a potential risk as well: Similarly as in the original Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, one typically moves upwards once the more basic needs have been fulfilled. In many organizations pondering their role in social media, I've found that the initial idea is to get to the top directly - skipping the steps that are very necessary to understand the underlying social rules of each community, build recognition and authority, and attract followers.
The moral of the story? In social media, understanding motivations is key - and impatience a mousetrap.
insights on sparking conversations and building engagement